What: Ars Lyrica Houston's Roaring Twenties Gala.
Where: Esperson Buildings.
The scoop: The historic 1920s skyscraper in downtown Houston was the perfect setting for a party with a Roaring Twenties theme. Guests, many dressed in period flapper attire, met for cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and jazz entertainment in the Rusk Lobby, which connects the two Esperson Buildings, and took personalized tours guided by docents from Preservation Houston.
Then they gathered for a musical performance in the adjoining neo-classic Italian Renaissance Niels Espereson Lobby (that building was completed in 1941), featuring countertenor John Holiday, who brought down the house with arias from Handel's Xerses and a rendition of "Misty" in tribute to his grandmother, Ars Lyrica Houston artistic director Matthew Dirst at the harpsichord, violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock and viola da gambist Mary Springfels who performed a mix of music from the 1720s to the 1920s.
After dinner catered by Morton’s Steakhouse in the Art Deco Mellie Esperson Lobby, decorated with tall candelabras, exotic peacock feathers and flowers, guests used a secret password to enter the one-night-only Full Prohibition Bar at the Speakeasy Club, held in the recently opened Peli Deli, and partied the night away.
More than $50,000 was raised at the gala to support a 2018/19 Ars Lyrica production of Handel’s first operatic masterpiece, Agrippina.
Who: Among those joining in the fun were the evening's honorees Robin Angly and Miles Smith, gala co-chairs Darrin Davis and Mario Gudmundsson, Connie Kwan-Wong, Farida Abjani, Kathryn McNiel, Perryn Leech, Gabriel and Sara Loperena, Drs. Rachel and Warren A. Ellsworth IV, Drs. Vivek and Ishwaria Subbiah, Dr. Noreen Mayberry, Sixto Wagan, Kathryn and Brendan Godfrey, Jano Nixon Kelley, Theresa and William Reading, Jo Dee and Clifford Wright, April Lykos, Dr. Diana Collins, and Al Gallo.